TNT Unveils 'The Closer' Spinoff 'Major Crimes'

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Plus: Conan O'Brien will take his TBS show on the road.

NEW YORK - TNT on Wednesday unveiled plans for a return to original TV movies and a new series called Major Crimes, starring Mary McDonnell, that is set to debut after the series finale of The Closer in 2012.

The spinoff, set in the Los Angeles Police Department, "promises to become television’s next great crime drama," TNT said in a statement ahead of its upfront presentation. McDonnell (Battlestar Galactica) has been featured on The Closer as Capt. Raydor who has often been on a collision course with Kyra Sedgwick's Deputy Police Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson.
Major Crimes will be executive-produced by James Duff, creator of The Closer, along with Greer Shephard and Michael Robin. Major Crimes and The Closer are from Time Warner sibling Warner Bros. Television.

Meanwhile, TBS said Conan O’Brien will take his show on the road for the first time with a week-long visit to New York in late 2011, followed by a trip to Chicago in 2012. O’Brien is taking his late-night talk show Conan on the road for the first time - with a visit to the Beacon Theater in New York Oct. 31-Nov. 3 that will celebrate the first anniversary of his arrival at TBS. It will be his first stint in New York since he hosted Late Night with Conan O’Brien.

In terms of new projects,TBS has given the green light to The Wedding Band (working title), an hour-long comedy starring Brian Austin GreenBeverly Hills, 90210, Desperate Housewives), Harold Perrineau (Lost, Oz), Peter CamborNCIS: Los Angeles, Notes from the Underbelly), Derek Miller (Secret Girlfriend) and Melora Hardin (The Office). TBS ordered 10 episodes of the show, which follows the misadventures of four friends who spend their spare time performing in a band. It is slated to premiere in summer 2012.

The two Turner networks also announced a slate of new projects from the likes of Mitch Albom, Thom Beers, Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Brad Paisley, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Richard North Patterson, Ridley Scott, Tony Scott, Joel Silver, Arthur Smith, Scott Turow, Bertram van Munster and John Wells. TBS particularly emphasized a push into half-hour comedy in partnership with top talents.

Meanwhile, TNT will launch two new series this summer - Falling Skies, executive produced by Steven Spielberg and starring Noah Wyle, and lawyer drama Franklin & Bash.

For 2012, TNT has ordered Perception starring Eric McCormack (Will & Grace) that centers on a neuroscientist who works to solve complex criminal cases.“

TNT also said it is working on a new lineup of original movies under the working title TNT Tuesday Night Mystery set to debut in November. It will feature six contemporary crime dramas - from true-crime stories to fictional mysteries.

The network is, for example, developing Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark’s Deck the Halls, the two-hour movie Innocent, based on the book by Scott Turow, and movies based on Richard North Patterson’s Silent Witness, Sandra Brown’s Ricochet, Lisa Gardner’s Hide and April Smith’s Good Morning, Killer.

In the 2011-12 season, TNT is bringing back seven series, including hit Rizzoli & Isles, The Closer, Men of a Certain Age, Leverage, HawthoRNe, Memphis Beat and Southland.

As every year, TNT and TBS on Tuesday also unveiled extensive development plans with big industry names.

Among TNT scripted series in development is the Untitled Kip Koenig/John Wells Productions Project, a cop family drama set against the backdrop of the Pacific Northwest, and Enigma, a modern-day mystery-of-the-week in the vein of Sherlock Holmes from CBS Television Studios and Anthony Zuiker (CSI), Matt Weinberg and Ed Whitmore (Waking the Dead).

TBS is developing An American Couple, among others. Set in the suburbs of Illinois, this one-hour comedy follows a newly engaged couple embarking on their journey to the altar. Writer and executive producer is Mike O’Malley (Glee), with David Kissinger, Conan O’Brien and Jeff Ross serving as executive producers.

TBS unscripted series in development include Pyramid, an Andy Richter-hosted modern-day take on the iconic game show. Contestants team with a celebrity partner to take turns guessing words or phrases in a category.

Below is a list of other series in development:

TNT scripted series in development

Scent of the Missing– A search-and-rescue officer braves the harshest conditions with her best friend and partner, a Labrador retriever. Based on the book of the same name, Scent of the Missing comes to TNT from CBS Television Studios and executive producers Barry Josephson (Bones) and Carol Mendelsohn (CSI) and producers Diane Nabatoff (Take The Lead) and Shelly Glasser (The Good Girl).

Gateway– In a nation still healing from the Civil War, lawlessness rules the small towns of the Old West. Three brothers bound by duty, honor and self-preservation take a stand. Together, they fight to survive and thrive – all in a small town called Gateway. The series comes to TNT from Warner Horizon Television, Bruce McKenna (The Pacific, Band of Brothers), Danny Cannon (CSI) and Deran Serafian (House, CSI).

Untitled Eric Garcia Project– A daydreaming police clerk’s overactive imagination isn’t just a way to escape her mundane work life. It’s also her mind’s way of helping detectives solve crime. The project comes to TNT from Warner Horizon Television, Eric Garcia (Matchstick Men) and executive producers McG (Terminator Salvation, the Charlie’s Angels movies) and Peter Johnson (Supernatural) of Wonderland Sound and Vision (Supernatural, Chuck, The O.C.).

Untitled Jay Cocks Project– Based on the character from the Laura Lippman series of books, this drama centers on Tess Monaghan, a former newspaper reporter who has become a private eye in the tough city of Baltimore. The project comes to TNT from Jay Cocks (Gangs of New York) and Bill Haber’s Ostar Productions (TNT’s Rizzoli & Isles).

Untitled Shaun Cassidy/Kimberly Williams-Paisley Project– When a hot Southern mess of a family takes in their widowed daughter-in-law and her gifted young son, these vibrant characters all in their own way come to learn that it’s not the family you’re born into that counts but the family you make. This emotional comedy/drama, set in and around the bucolic town of Franklin, Tenn., comes to TNT from executive producers Kimberly Williams-Paisley (According to Jim), Brad Paisley and Shaun Cassidy (Roar, Invasion).

Untitled Mitch Albom Project– Set in a Detroit radio station, this drama follows a station manager who, against his wishes, returns home to try and breathe life into his struggling city. The project comes to TNT from best-selling author and columnist Mitch Albom (Tuesdays with Morrie).

Snatched– Should she settle down and have a family? Or jump out of a plane while retrieving a priceless artifact? This hero finds herself at the ultimate crossroads of domesticity and a full-throttle adrenaline rush. Snatched comes to TNT from Prospect Park and Steven Mitchell and Craig W. Van Sickle (Tin Man).

The Command– The Command centers on an elite and real squad of detectives within the New York City police department – Borough Command. Cherry-picked by one commanding officer, these detectives get only the toughest, highest-profile and most-unsolvable cases. The best detectives, the hardest cases. The Command comes to TNT from Cineflix Studios; director/executive producer Antoine Fuqua (Shooter, Training Day); writers/executive producers Todd Komarnicki (Resistance, Elf) and Tony Spiridakis (Ash Tuesday); and producer Jim Thompson (War).

TBS scripted series in development

Untitled Phoef Sutton Project– Anchored by lead detective Emerson Slade, this single-camera comedy spoofs cop and detective shows. The half-hour series centers on an elite force of great minds who solve crimes while working together as a dysfunctional family. The project comes to TBS from Warner Horizon Television, Conaco, writer and executive producer Phoef Sutton (Terriers) and executive producers David Kissinger, Conan O’Brien and Jeff Ross.

Men at Work (working title) – When Milo is thrust into single life after discovering his girlfriend has been cheating, he finds comfort in three best friends who help reinvent his manhood with the promise of sex, alcohol and some serious bromance. This half-hour series is written and executive-produced by Breckin Meyer (TNT’s Franklin & Bash, Robot Chicken).

TNT unscripted series in development

The Great Escape– What if you found yourself on the deck of a sinking ocean liner, in a prisoner-of-war camp or trapped on a desert island? What if you only had your wits and everyday skills to help escape? The Great Escape puts teams of ordinary people in the middle of their own epic action/adventure movie. Players must work together to evade pursuers, overcome obstacles, solve puzzles and be the first to reach freedom to win a cash prize. The Great Escape comes to TNT from Fox Television Studios, Imagine Entertainment, The Hochberg Ebersol Company, Profiles Television Productions and executive producers Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind), Brian Grazer (24), Francie Calfo (Scoundrels), Elise Doganieri (The Amazing Race), Bertram van Munster (The Amazing Race), Justin Hochberg and Charlie Ebersol.

Untitled Joel Silver Project– This action-packed competition show combines the excitement of The Bourne Identity with the voyeurism of The Truman Show. In each self-contained episode, two contestants are dropped into a fictional town where they find themselves at the center of a major incident. As the minutes tick down, they must use whatever clues they can find to figure out who and what they are before the clock runs out. The project comes to TNT from Warner Horizon Television, Joel Silver (The Matrix trilogy) and Phil Gurin (Shark Tank), based on an original idea by Gurin.

Shooters– Ten of the best and brightest up-and-coming stars of the commercial-directing world compete for bragging rights to be known as the top shooter, as well as seed money to start their own production house. Shooters comes to TNT from Scott Free Productions and executive producers Tony Scott (The Good Wife), Ridley Scott (The Good Wife) and David Zucker (The Naked Gun).

Untitled Search and Rescue Project– The creator of Deadliest Catch takes an inside look at the Alaskan Coast Guard’s search-and-rescue team. When lives are on the line, these elite men and women fly into storms and dive into the Bering Sea, some of the deadliest waters in the world. The project comes to TNT from Original Productions and executive producer Thom Beers.

Untitled Business Makeover Project– A business titan brings knowledge and experience to family businesses on the brink. In each episode, a top leader will assess the big problems facing a small business to help them turn it around before it’s too late. The project comes to TNT from executive producer Arthur Smith (Hell’s Kitchen).




Twitter: @georgszalai